Warsaw, 20 May 1948. Member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Warsaw, Judge Halina Wereńko, interviewed the person specified below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Articles 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
|Name and surname||Witold Marian Guzikowski, born 19 August 1923|
|Names of parents||Wacław and Janina née Wawrzyk|
|State and national affiliation||polish|
|Profession||technician in Olesiński Brothers’ factory, Wronia Street 67|
|Place of residence||Warszawa, Wronia Street 67, flat 3|
I was in the flat at Graniczna Street 15 when the Warsaw Uprising broke out. During the first days of the uprising, the area around our house was quiet. On 6 August 1944 we heard the news of mass executions of civilians in Wola.
During the night between 7 and 8 August 1944, panic broke out, as the Germans were approaching. Many men who were running in the direction of the Old Town were shot; on 8 August 1944 I saw the corpses of these men.
On 8 August 1944 at around 5 a.m. the German troops arrived from the direction of Wola. Gendarmes burst into our house, threw a grenade into the yard and ordered everyone to get out. After I went out into the street, I saw that the Germans were bringing civilians out of the neighbouring houses as well.
Having separated the men from the women, the Germans herded us to the Saxon Garden, where our group was joined with several other groups of civilians who were lying on the ground there. Elderly persons were separated from us, and all groups were brought to the Mirowskie Market Halls [Hale Mirowskie]. There were around four hundred of us in total. From behind our passing group a German tank was bombarding insurgent positions in the area of Krochmalna Street.
Three men from our group were sent out from the Mirowskie Halls to fetch a wounded German soldier, who was lying quite far away. Since these men ran away, our escort executed six other men.
Between the halls – the hall closer to Solna Street was on fire – in front of the icehouse I saw over one hundred almost entirely burnt corpses; in the other hall, from the side of the Jonas Bazaar, I saw corpses of men scattered around.
We were taken to the front of the icehouse. We were grouped at the icehouse. The Gendarmes were randomly picking men from our group, leading them behind the other hall, and I heard shots. None of the men taken there ever returned; I saw also SD-men alongside the gendarmes at that time. In front of the icehouse the men were ordered to take their clothes off, we were robbed of our watches and valuables. I saw that the women were also robbed, and then taken to Charles Borromeo Church.
I was taken in a group of around 120 men to the Saxon Garden; on the way the SS-men were beating us with shovel handles. We met groups of civilians coming from the direction of Senatorska Street, who were also being beaten by their escort on the way. I saw elderly people being liquidated, I also saw a civilian being severely beaten with sticks.
From the Saxon Garden we were taken back to the Mirowskie Halls, where we were guarded by Wehrmacht soldiers. At around 4 p.m. they marched us to the front of Saint Adalbert Church in Wolska Street. There a non-commissioned officer of the SD selected a group of men who seemed to him stronger, including myself. The rest were herded in the direction of the Western Railway Station [Dworzec Zachodni]. The SD officer gave a speech to us in Polish, in which he indicated that the murders we had witnessed had been the first sign of hatred, that they had been committed primarily by Ukrainians, and that the corpses of the murdered civilians had to be removed, so that an epidemic could be avoided. Then we were quartered in a building on Sokołowska Street (opposite the vicarage), in three rooms on the third floor. The windows overlooked the vicarage. On that day in the evening a new group of around sixty men, taken mainly from the area of Żelaznej Bramy Square, arrived at our building. I met Mieczysław Grugiel, Florian Trzciński (presently residing in Warsaw, in Stalina Steet) and Zenon Piasecki among them. The group was supervised by a non-commissioned officer of the SD named Böchme, who also appointed a “Kapo” from among us.
On 9 August 1944 we were woken up, and both groups were led together under the escort of thirty SS-men to Górczewska Street, at the corner of Zagłoby Street. A part of us worked on one side of Górczewska Street (on the grounds of the factory), and the other group, including myself, worked near the corner of Zagłoby Street. My group burnt around three hundred corpses of men, women and children; I saw a couple of bodies in railway uniforms. The corpses were in a condition of advanced decomposition; we burnt them on the spot. It took us around five hours to collect the corpses. In the afternoon we burnt fresh corpses in Wolska Street opposite Saint Adalbert Church, in flats and in the yard, on the spot where a wooden cross now stands. There were around thirty corpses. They were mainly cripples and elderly persons.
I don’t remember the subsequent dates exactly. In the yard of the “Ursus” factory my group burnt some corpses that had already been exposed to fire. The pyre was located in the factory yard, opposite the entrance from Wolska Street, on the left. There were a lot of ashes and remains, the pyre covered an area of around 6 × 8 meters. Then we burnt corpses in the yard of the house at Wolska Street 6 and corpses from the cinema at Wolska Street 8. There might have been two hundred and fifty bodies. Later on, we were on the corner of Żytnia and Młynarska Streets. A barricade stood there, closing off Młynarska Street. At the barricade and on a field nearby there were around twenty, maybe thirty corpses.
While we were working, our escort shot two women and two men at a gate in Żytnia Street. We buried their bodies. Then we walked past Karol and Maria Hospital, where another group was burning corpses.
Near Chłodna Street 58, I saw Wehrmacht soldiers leading a group of several men (including two boys). The SD escort consulted the Wehrmacht soldiers, upon which the group was executed. The execution, it seems to me, was carried out by the Wehrmacht soldiers. In Chłodna Street 45 we threw the corpses of several men into a burning house. In the gate of the house at Chłodna Street 54, the SD escort shot a couple of women who were trying to leave the city.
Around 18 August 1944 (I don’t remember the exact date) I was taken to perform menial tasks in the vicarage, in the rooms occupied by the SD. I cannot precisely specify the location of these, but I do remember a plate reading Sicherheitspolizei-Sipo. On the first floor, in room number 13, persons brought from the city or from Saint Adalbert Church were interrogated. The interrogated persons were kept under arrest on the second floor of the building, where a Verbrennungskommando unit was quartered.
I don’t know the names of the SD officers who carried out the interrogations. The name of the interpreter was Jancke. During the examinations I could hear moaning. I saw that the examinees from room 13 were maltreated. I once saw Jancke beating an examinee. Spilke resided on the first floor of the vicarage, he had the rank of Sturmbannfiihrer, if I am not mistaken. In one of the office rooms on the first floor I saw a typed-out form with “Kampf Gruppe Reinefahrt” and under that, on the left, “Sicherheitspolizei”.
On 8 or 9 August 1944, I don’t remember the exact date, I saw a group of six men and two women in German uniforms with Home Army [Armia Krajowa – AK] armbands being brought to the vicarage. One of them was taken in for interrogation, he came back several minutes later, and then the entire group was taken by a buda [police truck] in the direction of the city.
At the end of September, I don’t remember the date, I saw a group of insurgents from Czerniaków, and a couple of days later ones from Mokotów. A group of soldiers from the Berling army were taken together with the insurgents from Czerniaków, and they were later hanged in Saint Adalbert Church. This group was taken away in trucks. In mid- September, a part of the SD-men left the vicarage, a part of them stayed. I left Warsaw on 15 October 1944 with one of the SS-men called Hermann Albrecht, around 30 years old, who was an interpreter in the vicarage; he was a Volksdeutsch from Pabianice. Since he was sick, I took him to one of the hospitals in Łódź.
At that the report was concluded and read out.
Warsaw, 28 May 1948. Member of the District Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Warsaw, Judge Halina Wereńko, interviewed the person specified below as an unsworn witness. Having been advised of the criminal liability for making false declarations and of the wording of Articles 107 and 115 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness testified as follows:
Name and surname Witold Marian Guzikowski
(personal details known in this case)
In addition to the testimony provided on 20 May 1948, I would like to explain that around mid-August 1944 (I don’t remember the exact date), together with
the Verbrennungskommando group to which I was assigned, we burnt corpses collected from the area of the playground at Wolska Street 24. We collected about fifty corpses, these were the bodies of men, women and children.
On 15 or 16 September (during the Russian offensive in Praga), together with the Verbrennungskommando group, I burnt corpses of around fifty Jews on the property opposite Saint Adalbert Church, where the cross now stands. The corpses were in linen clothing, blue with white stripes, I think. The bodies were emaciated.
A day before this, I saw this group of Jews being brought together with a group of civilians. They were foreigners. It was rumoured among us that these were Greek Jews.
In mid-August (I don’t remember the exact date), we took the corpses of twenty-six men from the yard of a house on Wolska Street. The SD-man in command of the escort (I don’t remember his name), told me that this group had been brought from Hoser’s plant at Wolska Street 27 and had been executed by the escort of the Verbrennungskommando group in retaliation for some SD-man having been killed on a barricade.
At that the report was concluded and read out.